The much-awaited reduction in the national mobile phone roaming charges has been announced by the telecom regulator Trai on June 17, 2013. However, it is also said that there will not be any free national roaming, as of now. New conditional roaming plans have been introduced by the sectoral regulator which will help to bring down the national roaming charges.
The new changes of the roaming prices will be effective from July 1, 2013. Trai released a statement regarding this, which read, “Trai has reduced ceilings for national roaming calls and SMS and instituted a new regime for providing flexibility to telecom service providers to customize tariffs for national roamers through STVs (Special Tariff Vouchers) and Combo Vouchers”. The statement from the regulator also added that there are two types of national roaming plans which will be provided by all telecom companies.
The number of subscribers has increased along with the usage, but the costs associated with the national roaming did not vanish completely. Back in 2007, Trai prescribed ceiling tariffs at Rs. 1.40 per minute for local calls and Rs. 2.40 minutes for outgoing STD calls while on national roaming.
The ceilings have now been reduced to Re. 1 per minute and Re. 1.50 per minute for local and STD calls, respectively. The ceilings for incoming calls, while on national roaming, will be reduced from Rs. 1.75 per minute to 75 paise per minute.